photo album

Bridge/Ferry Information

Update 3/6/04 - Much has been done to make sure this type of tragedy never occurs again. Workers have just finished up work on a collapse detection system, which consists of several related components:

-- The bridge‚s collapse detection system c 

* Spaced at 500-foot intervals are red traffic lights that will flash if a fiber optic cable running the length of the bridge is severed. 

* Huge concrete enclosures ˜ called "dolphins" ˜ around the piers are strong enough to absorb the impact of four barges. 

-- If a collision occurs, mechanical arms, similar to those used at railroad crossings, will drop, preventing traffic from crossing. 

-- The red lights will flash and an electronic display above the entrance will tell motorists: "Stop.  Causeway closed." 

-- Those on the bridge who are out of harm‚s way will be able to continue driving. 

-- Signs in English and Spanish explain that motorists need to stop when they see the blinking lights. 

the gap

Parking/Shuttles Info: Free tourist parking has been established in Port Isabel on Hwy 100. Visitors are asked to follow the signs to visitor parking. There will be free shuttles available from the designated parking lot to the South Point Marina where the boat shuttles will be departing regularly for South Padre Island. Parking shuttles will be running regularly from 8:00 am to 12:00 am (midnight). Parking shuttles will also be available from the marina back to visitor parking. Parking attendants will be available to facilitate this process. Similar service is available for those people that work on South Padre Island. Their parking area will be the H.E.B. and Wal-Mart parking lots in Port Isabel. There will be parking shuttles available to transport employees to and from South Point Marina from 5:00 am to 12:00 am (midnight).

dog street

Traffic is ... fairly light on the Island today

The Bridge Victims Memorial Fund:

Account # 088509, First National Bank of SPI
P.O Box 3640, SPI, TX 78597

Commercial Vehicles: Owners of commercial vehicles wishing to access the island should contact city Manager Ray Kendall at 956-761-6456.

updated 11/12/01

South Padre Island is open for business and residents and guests alike are enjoying the perfect weather and free ferry rides. Rooms are cheap, the beaches are still beautiful and wide open and traffic is minimal.

Tips: While vehicle ferry service to and from the island is available 24 hours a day, there have been some long delays reported due to heavy demand. To avoid frustration, try to get to the landing early, avoid crossing on weekends and take the passenger ferry instead whenever possible.

For the very latest on ferries and an illustrated report on bridge repairs - click here.

From my e-mail box:

Thanks a bunch for setting up this web page. It was a great source of information when planning our vacation. My visit lasted 2 weeks (10/13 -10/27). My experience using the auto ferry ranged from a 45 minute crossing to a 3 1/2 hour crossing. It seemed more like "luck of the draw" than anything else when it came to a quick crossing. I needed to use the auto ferry mainly because I wanted to drive down the beach for surf fishing. Other than that we found that we didn't really need the car all that bad. Once on the island we found that we could get around on the Wave pretty quick. The land transportation (public) was very good in Port Isabel as well as the Island. My suggestion for folks coming to the Island would be to leave the car behind and trust the public transportation. The "people" ferry's were great. Most all of the folks involved were trying their best and doing a great job.

One additional tip : you can rent a car on the Island thru Avis at the

Mike McGarry

History - Click here for a brief description of what happened and a list of the victims - updated 9/26

For Locals - Times are rough, but you should know there has been a tremendous outpouring of concern from my site visitors - take a peek

More Transportion Info

Related Links:

South Padre Island is still open for business. The beach is still beautiful, the sunsets still breathtaking and the locals are still friendly. Extra friendly, now that it's pretty much just us here.

Sand Castle Days is still a GO!!!


On the Car ferry

"The Queen Isabella Victim Relief fund" - Account # 029025, First National Bank of SPI
P.O Box 3640, SPI, TX 78597.

island lights

On the night ferry to SPI...

the gap

question that hasn't been answered here? update or correction to add? e-mail me!

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